Optify has released a study [download page] looking at the use of autoresponders by a randomly selected group of 500 B2B companies from the Inc. 5000 2012 fastest-growing companies list. The findings of the study indicate that even among these leading companies, few observe best practices in the use of autoresponders, with the highlight result being that only 24% use immediate autoresponders for their marketing automation programs.
Breaking down the 4 elements of an autoresponder (form, thank you page, email, and cadence), the study finds that:
- 24% of the websites did not provide any kind of form to fill out;
- Only 37% are using autoresponders to follow up on an online form submission;
- Companies are using an average of 7 fields on their forms, which the researchers suggest is too many;
- While 91% displayed a Thank You page stating that the form was received, only 18% of those displayed a call-to-action upon form submission;
- Only 70% of the companies that used autoresponders sent the first email within 15 minutes of form submission;
- Only 58% of immediate (within 15 minutes of submission) autoresponse emails were personalized; and
- Just 6% of the initial autoresponse emails contained an indication of a future email.
Beyond the obvious recommendations to come out of the selected findings above, Optify suggests that autoresponse emails should be branded, relevant, and timeless, and should be sent from a person rather than from the company. Also, companies should send 3-4 emails within the first week to leads, and include 12-15 emails per campaign over a 4-6 week period. A separate strategy for contacting leads, as recommended by Leads360, can be found here.
About the Data: Each of the companies analyzed have annual revenue of $1-100 million and are advertising and marketing, IT services, software or business services companies.